We are about to pay a sum of money to Memorial Hospital - West Volusia, Inc., (hence, Ormond). Before we pay it, we should consider three things.
First, whether the charges are reasonable. To consider this, we ought to require a proper fee schedule prior to submission of bills. Ideally, the fee schedule would be submitted at budget time, along with estimates of usage based on history. We can then consider what we are asked to pay for each service, and the reasonableness thereof.
Second, whether the charges are necessary. Orange City lived within their budget last year. Ormond didnt. Ormond blew their budget and by the generosity of the taxpayers was able to get a couple of hundred thousand dollars in extra free money. When we see a budget that badly blown, coupled with a huge increase for this coming year and a bigger one for next year, we have to ask whether were being billed for necessary charges. By necessary I do not ask of medical necessity, but rather necessity to the taxpayers of West Volusia. These increases make it look like Ormond is getting lazy, collecting huge salaries and doing little work. Are we truly verifying residency in the district? A large number of Lake residents find West Volusia more convenient than Eustis. Are we truly working to qualify for Medicare/Medicaid? The increases, much faster even than medical inflation, suggest otherwise. Is the taxpayer now the payer of first resort instead of last resort?
Third, we must consider the charges in comparison to other hospitals. When the Authority operated the facility, those of you who were there will recall that I occasionally reminded you that indigent care was normally part of the cost of doing business. You will recall also that a past Chair, Mr. Gardner, stressed this regularly in his talks during his election campaign. The same is true today. Let us look at Orange City: having taken nearly three years to get their operation on the right track, their indigent care requests have been declining and are tending toward zero. Ormond, on the other hand, is seeking an ever-increasing suck on the public teat, a constantly growing amount of money from the public trough.
Why is this? Why is one operation run so badly, and why does that operation expect us to continue to pamper it and shower it with our hard-earned dollars?
Posting of this letter is a paid political advertisement provided by Tanner Andrews, P.O. Box 1208, DeLand 32721, independent of any campaign or committee. This material is also on display at the offices of the West Volusia Hospital Authority. No candidate has approved this material.